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Oil or Varnish or Urethane

AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
edited 7:46PM in EggHead Forum
Which is better for an Egg table that will be exposed to the Arizona sun? -RP


  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,670
    My vote is for the urethane. It's been working fine in the Florida sun.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 18,468
    regular urethane yellows and fades and doesnt stand up to sun well. they have a spar urethane out that stands up better to tyhe sun but it seems to stay soft for a few months before really getting hard. spar varnish is whats used on boats, problem is over time water can get under it cracking it and turning the wood black (maybe in a dry dessert that wont matter. oil needs to be applied every so often, but its quick to wipe on. me, my boats weathered grey, been scraping the varnish off whenever its slow, now i have a strip grand canoe that im building in the basement, its getting epoxy and fiberglass for a few coats and then several coats spar varnish, the spar varnish really looks the nicest buts its a love hate relationship between looks and maintanence. if it were my table i might spar the legs and oil the table top
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    I would recommend the spar urethane with the UV protectants in the product.

    I put on about 6 coats, and I sand with 220 grit between coats. It holds up pretty well.
  • Cpt'n CookCpt'n Cook Posts: 1,917
    I used Helmsman Spar poly and am pretty happy with it.
    Apply a la Fidel.
  • hizzonerhizzoner Posts: 182
    I've got to do something. My table is pretty new and built from cedar. It is covered, but the greast some cooking is leaving marks. I haven't decided what to use.
  • For those of you who finish with urethane (spar or otherwise), how often do you refinish, how does it age, etc.
  • JCinGAJCinGA Posts: 139
    My dad used to use linseed oil in the Nevada desert.
    I have used the Spar Urethane and it does dry out and crack. Minwax has another product called Clear Shield it has more oils in it and is supposed to be more flexible than the Spar Urethane and have a better UV resistance.
    I have used Spar Urethane on oak that was undercover most of the time and after two years I had to recoat. I'm currently building an egg cart of cypress using the Clear Shield. My gut feeling this is a better product than Spar Urethane.
  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,429
    I used Watco Teak oil on my mini table.
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259

    I'm going through the same decision process myself. I'm in the middle of building a table to go between my two nested Eggs.

    I've been working in wood for over 25 years, both professionally and as a hobby, but even when I was making a living with it, I struggled with finishing. I can get a nice finish with just about anything, but it can be a lot of work.

    I've just recently (today actually) decided to go with an oil finish, and here's why.

    1) Nothing outside is going to last for more than a year or two at the most. When a varnish or urethane finish fails, a simple re-coating isn't going to work. You're going to have to get the old finish off before you put something new on. With an oil, while you will have to recoat sooner (and more often), prep is minimal.

    2) Depending on the design of the table and the equipment you have available, any sort of varnish or urethane is going to require much more careful application than an oil finish. Nothing beats the old Karate Kid: Wipe-a-on -- Wipe-a-off. That's both in initial coat and subsequent maintenance.

    3) With an oil, if company or family is coming over or you're having a big party, a quick once-over with an oil soaked rag, and your table looks like brand new. In fact, if you give a once over every couple of months, you're likely not to ever have to do a major refinish.

    Any way, that's what I've decided. Lowe's has a new exterior oil finish from Cabot. Picked up a quart this afternoon.
  • I did the interior of my little boat 10 years ago. I went out to boating sites and the advice was to use CPES (clear penatrating epoxy sealer) then multiple coats of spar varnish. After 10 years it still looks good. I don't have links for CPES anymore. WLL
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